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Annual Morley Gunderson Lecture in Labour Economics


Labour Laws, Unionization, and Wage Setting

Join faculty, students, and alumni of Woodsworth College at this lecture which is co-sponsored by the Department of Economics and the Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources.

The 2021 lecturer is Prof. Thomas Lemieux, Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia.

Lecture Abstract:

The lecture will look at how labour laws that influence the level of unionization may have an impact on the wage distribution. As is well known, unionization tends to increase wage levels, and reduce wage dispersion. Labour laws that make it easier for unions to represent workers through collective bargaining are expected to affect the wage distribution through their indirect impact on the rate of unionization. They may also have a direct impact on wages regardless of union status, for instance by getting non-union employers to pay higher wages to reduce the "threat" of unionization. These various hypotheses will be examined empirically by considering the case of "right-to-work" laws in the United States that make it more challenging for unions to represent workers.

Lecture to be delivered via Zoom Webinar.